Solutions For Parents

Teenager » Discipline and Guidance

Recommended Teen Suggestions

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This is a list of suggestions that are successful with kids in the teen years.

  1. Remember teens are now focused on friends and a sense of privacy, as they have known for a while that their thoughts (and some actions) are private – that you cannot read their minds? This is a BIGGIE and teens use that knowledge to argue, defend, lecture, be rude and generally trip you up as much as possible.
  2. So…respect their privacy and give new firm family rules that include the fact that you are in charge and will supervise them as closely as they need to be throughout. Remind them they reside in your house and you are paying the bills.  Be firm about rules as they are your best weapon in establishing expectations and boundaries, especially limits.
  3. In a conversational tone, call a meeting, in private, with each of the teens and ask them to listen to what happened as a situational problem that must be resolved. Tell what you know – don’t get personal, just describe the “event” and your version of what happened.
  4. Then you listen, and let them tell you whatever they want to tell you as long as they are respectful.
  5. If there is an argument, walk away and tell them when he or she has calmed down, you will continue because you insist on finding out what happened, not to place blame, but to know.
  6. Tell each teen the longer you don’t know what happened, the more serious the consequences for all of the teenagers. Tell them the consequences now. You may choose to add responsibilities and reduce allowances, if there were any. Or, if they work, that you will confiscate paychecks from employers, etc.
  7. Be sure to follow through after each “private” talk with everyone and if no one comes forth, then the consequences become equal for all four kids.
  8. If there are circumstances you understand (not them) then make adjustments in the consequences, but there have to be rules of consequences with teens such as not going out to chill with friends, repayment plans, restrictions from driving or leaving the premises. They should be relatively short term and they need to sign off that if it happens again the “routine” will be the same (same conversations, same rules, same results, etc.). Be strong and consistent.
Ask Dr. Susan